JACKPOT BET AFTER 2-1 NAP WINS: Daqman raises his stake today for an 11.5 value tilt at a Sandown handicap after his nap Encke (WON 2-1) scored on the course yesterday.

TWO TRAINERS ECLIPSE THE REST: John Gosden, with Michelangelo, and Donald McCain, with Ile De Re, grabbed the big prizes last Saturday. Now Daqman seems them in the money again today with Trade Commissioner, Great Heavens, Lexi’s Boy and Nathaniel, his Eclipse nap.

A staggering Sandown stalls 1-2-3. There’s a chance that the early Sandown heats today could well be run on the forecast good-to-soft going but rain is expected during the afternoon, and be warned that the ground deteriorated with racing yesterday.

The opener was 1.68secs slow, becoming five or six seconds worse than average as the day progressed, but ending up 12.87secs above the standard time.

On the other hand, the record of the draw at Sandown could be a huge bonus for punters, with the winners of a total of 10 consecutive recent runnings of the first two races all coming from stalls 1, 2, 3. Quite staggering.

1.30 Sandown: Winners in the last four years came from stalls 3, 1, 1, 1 and last year’s 1-2-3 twist was a draw result of 3, 1, 2.

Hamza (stall 2) was 11th – installed on the wrong side – in the Britannia and the better-drawn horse that finished just behind him, Van Ellis, won at Chester the other day.

The morning favourites, Dutch Supreme and Signor Sassi, will both come out of double-figure stalls, and Hamza’s 13.0 would be great value, if not dampened by the worry of whether he can repeat his all-the-way Haydock win on different ground (and will the blinkers work again?)

2.05 Sandown: The effect of the draw in the last six years has been absolutely stunning, with the winners by stall 2, 1, 3, 3, 3, 2, and 14 of the 18 placed horses coming from 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Elusivity (drawn 1 today) would have a big chance if reproducing his Palace House third, with Spirit Quartz (drawn 2 now), Night Carnation (in 4 here) and Caledonia Lady next home in that order.

He hated the firm ground in his moderate Haydock run and Ascot’s 6f was too far for him, though he was bang there a furlong out.

Last year’s winner, Night Carnation has been dropped 7lb in the ratings since then, and has no right to overturn the Elusivity form, excepting her penchant for Sandown (has won a handicap as well as a Group 3 there).

Soft ground (but not heavy) would be good news for for Spirit Quartz (in 2), with Frankie Dettori keeping the ride after Royal Ascot. He and Elnawin – both winners over 6f – should get the pace they need from the likes of Free Zone and Judge ‘N Jury (stall 3).

Spirit Quartz was fifth in the Kings Stand, just behind Medicean Man (wide draw today in 14) with Night Carnation and Caldonia Lady just behind.

Combine the Palace House and the Kings Stand results, adding the benefit of today’s draw, and you seem to have Elusivity and Spirit Quartz, with Dettori – who rode Elusivity in the Palace House – preferring Spirit Quartz. So the quartz becomes a crystal ball!

2.40 Sandown: Four-year-olds have won five out of six (the other winner was aged three), and I like the offers on BETDAQ of 11.5 Captain Bertie, the Newbury Spring Cup winner who was outpaced in the Royal Hunt Cup on the fast ground at Ascot and will relish today’s cut.

I expect him to turn around the form of that race with the long-time bridesmaid Field Of Dream, who finished fourth that day.

Two days later at Ascot the going had gone soft on us, and Directorship ran a cracker to finish in the first six in the Buckingham Palace Handicap, but he’s six now and yet to win above class 3.

On the same day, Con Artist failed to last out the 1m 2f of the Wolferton Handicap, after trying to make all. He, too, has never been able to raise his game above class 3 but the drop back to a mile could see him hard to catch.

Spa’s Dancer and Stage Attraction have never even won above class-4 level, though both like Sandown and soft ground.

However, the Group horse in a handicap here could be the favourite, Trade Commissioner, who won his maiden on the Esher track. The question is whether he will cope with any significant ease in the surface: J Gosden doesn’t seem to be worried about that but is voicing concern that the race comes only 10 days after his Salisbury success,

2.55 Haydock (Lancashire Oaks) Three-year-olds haven’t had a look-in for six long years but John Gosden – three wins in nine seasons – has scored with one, and also with two four-year-olds.

David Elsworth, too, does well in this: his dual winner, Barsheba, had similar form to Salford Art when she first took this race: in the frame in Group races without winning.

But, on the ground, the dangers to the Gosden favourite, Great Heavens, must surely be Set To Music and Testosterone, with an outside chance to Aquamarine.

BETDAQ offers are punter friendly at an overround of only 103% so we ought to be in to win: I shall pick Testosterone, who was too fresh first time back and is a fair offer at 6.4 as I write.

3.25 Haydock (Old Newton Cup): Horses aged four and five had dominated this as far back as you want to go, but Halicarnassus didn’t read the script last year and won aged seven.

But 47 others aged six and over have failed this century, and Allied Powers’ 9st 10lb has not been carried and is a formidable burden on the ground (that’s why they don’t want to know him this morning, out to 23.0).

Tmaam has drifted like a lonely dog on a raft and is headed for the betting weir of no-hopers at 16.5 on BETDAQ as I write, despite his being better off at the weights with Number Theory.

They’ve wanted just one horse: Lexi’s Boy, taken to follow up last Saturday’s Donald McCain big Plate success with Ile De Re.

I can’t punt Franciscan, four times a winner on firm. I’m more inclined toward Easy Terms, winner in a better grade and on heavy: 12.0 offers are tempting.

3.45 Sandown (Eclipse Stakes) No horse over the age of five has won this race, and all – certainly this century – had won a Group 1, with six of the last seven Engllsh-rated having scored off 122 or higher.

That makes it a match between Monterossi (has never won on a soft surface) and Nathaniel, though that would be to leave out Crackerjack King’s Italian Derby as not normally up to our standard and his Group 1 last time out, which was boosted by Afsare yesterday.

Afsare was winning only a Listed and Crackerjack King’s one run on the soft and only start against top-class opposition outside Italy was in the French Derby of 2011: he was 15th of 16 and didn’t even rate a mention in the Raceform analysis. Of course, it could have been an off day.

Cityscape has been in the frame in Group races eight times out of 10 but his chance in this may have gone at the age of six.

Connections of Bonfire are hoping the drop back to 1m 2f will suit and those of Farhh consider he was hampered behind last year’s winner of this, So You Think, when they were winner and third at Royal Ascot.

A big talking horse before the Derby to upset Camelot, Bonfire didn’t get the trip or didn’t handle Epsom, or both. He did win the Dante at a similar trip to today’s but the second and third at York that day, Ektihaam and Fencing, have since been shown to be between 11 and 26 lengths off Group-1 winning form.

Farhh’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes third was a massive leap forward from winning the Royal Hunt Cup, or was he flattered? We have to take it on trust from the one Ascot race that he gained so much ground after winning a handicap, the Thirsk Hunt Cup. Soft ground will suit.

But, if there’s one man you can put your mortgage on, and trust implicitly, right now it’s that same J Gosden, and he has brought King George winner Nathaniel back for a double tilt: Eclipse and King George.

Like his earlier worry with Trade Commissioner, he’s bound to be concerned: is there enough time between races? And we should be concerned today whether Nathaniel is 100%, after his long absence and with the King George just around the corner.

But the one thing about this Eclipse is: no pace, no front-runner. And, given the ground, it could be a dawdle. I believe that Nathaniel can do what he did in last year’s King George. Set his own steady pace from the front, and then play catch-me.

BET 1.6pts win and place HAMZA (1.30 Sandown)
BET 4.0pts win SPIRIT QUARTZ and 1pt win (stakes saver) NIGHT CARNATION (2.05 Sandown)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 2.8pts win CAPTAIN BERTIE, 2.3pts win CON ARTIST, plus 2pts win (stakes saver) TRADE COMMISSIONER (2.40 Sandown)
BET 3.7pts win TESTOSTERONE and 1pt win (stakes saver) GREAT HEAVENS (2.55 Haydock)
BET 7.2pts win LEXI’S BOY and 1.8pts win and place EASY TERMS (3.25 Haydock)
BET 5.4pts win (nap) NATHANIEL (3.45 Sandown)

* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points (unless otherwise stated) so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken at the time of writing. The bets are geared to a level return so that you can easily assess profits and loss.

* Points are what you make them: if you bet in tenners, then 4pts win is £40; 3.2pts win is £32 (so 2.9pts win reflects a 6.8-1 chance and requires £29 at £10 unit stakes).

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